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Research Journal of Microbiology
Year: 2008  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 293 - 307

Utilization of Chlorpyrifos as a Sole Source of Carbon by Bacteria Isolated from Wastewater Irrigated Agricultural Soils in an Industrial Area of Western Uttar Pradesh, India

Ranjan Kumar Bhagobaty and Abdul Malik    

Abstract: In the present study wastewater irrigated agricultural soil with a previous history of chlorpyrifos use was examined for its capacity to harbor bacteria capable of utilizing it as a sole source of carbon. Four bacterial isolates designated as RA-3, RA-5, RA-10, RA-20, isolated from the soil, using enrichment culture technique showed promising capability to utilize chlorpyrifos as a carbon source for their growth. Morphological and biochemical tests performed on the bacteria indicated that they might belong to the genus Pseudomonas. Thin layer chromatography and tetrazolium reduction assay showed that the strains were capable of degrading chlorpyrifos. All the chlorpyrifos degrading bacterial isolates were also tested for their antibiotic sensitivity against 10 antibiotics/drugs. All the isolates were sensitive to gentamycin and methicillin. RA-10 and RA-3 were sensitive to ampicillin whereas RA-5 was resistant and RA-20 showed intermediate range of sensitivity. RA-5 and RA-3 were sensitive to chloramphenicol whereas, RA-10 and RA-20 showed intermediate sensitivity. RA-5 and RA-20 showed resistance against co-trimoxazole and nalidixic acid. RA-5 and RA-10 showed intermediate sensitivity to tetracycline whereas RA-20 was resistant and RA-3 sensitive to it. All the bacterial isolates were also found to harbor a single plasmid. This leads us to believe that the soils with previous exposure to chlorpyrifos contain a diverse range of bacteria having novel organophosphorus hydrolase enzyme systems for causing the enhanced biodegradation of this toxic pesticide in the environment. Further elucidation of the enzymatic and molecular mechanisms involved in the process will help in creating possible bioremediation technologies using the soil bacteria.

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